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Alexandria opens Torpedo Factory artist applications

There’s been some drama around the future of the Torpedo Factory, but applications are opening next month for local artists looking to get in ahead of those changes.

“The City of Alexandria will be accepting resident artist applications for studio space at the Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union Street) beginning March 1,” the city said in a press release. “Individuals or groups of up to four artists are invited to apply for the studio jury for a three-year lease in one of the available studios. The deadline to apply is April 19.”

All artists over 21 are eligible to apply. The fee is $45 for new applicants or groups, but the release says that will be waived for current resident artists and individuals for whom the fee is a barrier. Artists can apply for a three-year lease or can become an artist pro tem and eligible to sublease.

The application is followed by a jury examining the work of an artist studio, the background of artists, how they communicate about their art and other factors.

The jury process was one of the recommendations from a 2019 plan for improving vibrancy at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. For the first time, current artists will have to compete against new artists for spots in the Torpedo Factory, but they have a few advantages. The release said incumbent residents can apply at no cost and will be given priority access to their current studios if they score high enough to earn a studio and list it as their top choice. The release says by 2024, all resident artists will have been juried through the new system.

“This is the first time that re-jurying for current artists is occurring in the Art Center’s 48-year history,” the release said.

“For more information about this process, attend an instructional webinar on either March 30 at noon or March 31 at 7 p.m.,” the release said. “The webinars will allow prospective applicants to review the process with City staff and receive live answers to application-related questions.”

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